Saturday, November 19, 2016

If Knitters/Crocheters Earned a Minimum Wage...*


I was trying to find a (very) general price guideline to really demonstrate that hand knitting/crocheting an item represents a significant amount of effort. The current consumer market for handmade knitwear is actually very low at the moment; a guess estimate for an average market price is the price of the yarn + 15% commission (or less). So, I tried to create my best guess of what a knitter would charge for their knitwear if they wanted to earn minimum wage for their time (below).* Although my equation includes a whole host of variables; it does not include any business planning time, taxes, or shipping materials which would affect any real knitwear seller.

Total Unit Price: M + 0.1Q + 0.1X + L + 0.1P


Fancy; but what would that mean? 


So for a pair of plain (stockinette) socks 
let's break down my equation:

Price of Project Specific Materials (M): $13.00 
Price of Equipment (Q) : $ 0.87
Price of Experience: $2.50 = [7 Techniques (Cast On, Kitchner Stitch, Increase, Decrease, Pick Up Stitches, 2 Shaping Decisions-Yarn Gauge & Size for Foot) + 18 Years at Craft] x 10%
Price of Labor (L) : $130.4 = 16 hours x $8.15 (2017 Ohio Minimum Wage)
Profit Minimum: $14.68 = 10% of  $146.77

Total Asking Price: $ 161.45


Definitions of Variables 

Price of Project Specific Materials
This would include items which you use most/all of in the project like yarn and beads.
 
Price of Equipment
This is based on recouping the cost of what I consider basic knitting equipment within 150 commissions. These prices are not the lowest - nor the highest on the tool spectrum and are a rough average price. Remember to change the Needle Price & Percentage to reflect the true number of needles in a project.
               
EquipmentPrice ($)Lifespan (Years)10%
1 Set of Circular Needles or 2 Sets of Double Pointed Needles 9.80 10 0.098
Wool Wash 13.00 7 0.186
Pins 5.00 15 0.033
Blocking Boards 15.00 10 0.150
Yarn Needles or Stitch Markers 3.00 10 0.030
Yarn Winder 20.00 10 0.200
Swift 50.00 30 0.170
Total115.80N/A0.867

Price of Experience
(Range of techniques needed in the pattern + years of experience in the craft) x 0.10
 
Price of Labor
Minimum Wage x Hours Worked
This does not include any time for accounting, advertising, customer service, business planning, etc. 
 
Minimum Profit
+ 10% of all previous Pricing Variables
This is to add a teeny price cushion for the producer to learn new techniques, upgrade equipment, raise future product quality, treat any craft injuries, buy material storage, advertising, etc.

 

* This set of equations is based on my remembered knowledge from a basic economics class over eight years ago and basic business math classes. Please do not consider this solid business advice; consult with a professional!

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